Krack The Hack is Daizo Dee Von and Mellonpizza's first big released project set in the Mushroom Kingdom: Beyond The Worlds franchise. First releasing during Winter C3, 2019 (January 4th, 2019), you play as Krack exploring non-linear levels, collecting a required amount of keys to end most of the 14 stages. It was voted "2nd Best Finished SMW Hack", and it's trailer was voted "2nd Best Trailer" during that C3, and ever since various updates have been made to further polish the game to it's current state.
Many things stand out compared to most other ROM Hacks of Super Mario World, such as...
- A proper achievements system where the questionnaire and every level contains an objective you may complete to earn a trophy for the "Extras Check List". Each level contains an exit (a key), an achievement (a trophy), and a moon (represented as, well, a moon). There are rewards for completing every category in the checklist.
- After 1.3.0. a "Speedrun Mode" is unlock able after either beating King Bowser's Keep, or entering a series of buttons and directions on the title screen. In Speedrun Mode, the game runs slightly faster by increasing movement speed by default, increasing speed in auto scrolling levels, disabling all overworld messages, and "unnecessary" cutscenes are skipped.
- An "overworld message box" system where on occasion the game will display info on whenever special levels are unlocked, if you've gotten every moon/achievement, if you've just beat the first level, or gotten everything.
- A new cutscene system that fades every time you press the button to enter the next panel. It can be skipped or autoplay on button hold. After 1.3.0. introduces SFX for almost every panel, with some even having special sampled audio playing (like voice actor lines, Bowser roaring, etc).
- First ROM Hack in 2019 to feature a "self destruction sequence" ripped straight out of Super Metroid.
- Various compositions Daizo Dee Von composed himself for a few areas of the game (Title Screen, victory/death jingles, and the three themes that play in the Postgame Final Level).
- Many easter eggs just waiting to be discovered added in almost every update.
The game takes place in the outskirts of Mystical called "Konamina" where a near-extinct alien species called the Rixzos fight against the Mysticarian Empire as revenge for the Mushroom Kingdom framing them for a crime they did not commit. As Krack, the "Zaicron" leader of the Rixzos acting out one last battle with the humans, they find themselves near war's end. That is when the course of the Rixzo race changes forever. The Nemesis King Koopa, "Bowser", and his army barge in the middle of the battlefield, resulting in both the human soldiers evacuating and every Rixzo being captured in bottles.
Krack finds himself in a dungeon with a Koopa named Yanni, and that's where Krack learns about Bowser's ultimate plan of extracting the blood of every Rixzo to power a third galactic attack. Yanni offers a potion to transform Krack into a Koopa Troopa, but things aren't as kind as the potion causes permanent effects. Krack engages with a couple guards soon afterwards, and is asked a series of questions about himself. The adventure begins once the questionnaire is completed.
'''THIS SECTION SPOILS EVERYTHING!''' During the adventure, Krack will sense two hidden levels throughout the game, and given the player's choice he can visit '''Kastle Keytastrophy''' and '''Yoshi's Cabin'''. In both levels, Krack re-encounters with Bowser's henchmen: Mac and Zac. These are two hammer brothers that first appear in the opening cutscene that re-appear as optional mini bosses for the two levels. Each time you meet them, they were just about on their way to head back to King Bowser's Keep before stumbling into Krack. They don't serve much to the plot other than being a reminder that they are after you. Krack's reward for defeating them is to read the levels' "Lunar Hints" that give hints towards Moons you can find in any stage. King Bowser's Keep starts the level off with Bowser yelling at Mac and Zac for not doing their job, and that he will be finishing the "mini rooms" for Krack to take on. After getting through all of Bowser's trials, Krack finds where all the Rixzos are being imprisoned. Krack also stumbles across what appears to be a mech version of Bowser, with the shell opened and a pair of stairs going into the cockpit. Going into the giant door results in Krack meeting with Mac and Zac again, learning that all the keys are used in this one computer room to free the Rixzos. Bowser counted on this, as the keys don't actually power the prison cages, but they actually activate a Double Cherry Duplicator for Bowser to clone himself with in order to take over the Mushroom Kingdom. Bowser tells Krack that he can't hit the red switch in the red pipe, and so Krack inside to see the machine in action. Multiple Bowsers, many skewers, one red switch. Krack dodges every obstacle and presses on the switch... this turned out to also be a trap set up by Bowser, as it sets the whole castle to blow up. Krack attempts to make an escape, and goes through pieces of the castle to give one last attempt at saving the Rixzos. He sees Mac and Zac presumably die to falling rocks, and Krack runs towards Daizo's cage.... before everybody is caught by the explosion. Daizo wakes up Krack, thanking this "rogue koopa" for saving his life. Krack confesses that it is he who is hid brother, and Daizo calls him a liar exclaiming all the deaths of the Rixzos. After a small argument, and Krack proving to his brother that he is who he is by calling him a "Bent Roadkill Spoon". Krack offers Daizo to be the next "Zaicron Leader", but Daizo denies the role as every Rixzo is now dead and he would rather end the war by meeting the new Prince of the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario. The game teases [[P-switch: The Ultimate P-switch Void]], and roll credits. Krack can actually meet up with the surviving Mac and Zac after beating the game by entering one last optional level, '''The Secret Palace'''. Daizo tells him of their hideout, and Krack is sent to investigate. After a conversation, Krack spares the two as he doesn't see much point in fighting them if they don't pose a threat. Mac and Zac try to contact Bowser, and sure enough Bowser answers after a moment. They rejoice, but not before encountering a very angry Daizo out for the kill. '''SPOILER ALERT FOR ACHIEVEMENTS AND MOONS AHEAD''' By getting every single achievement in the game, not only do you unlock a new Krack skin with him wearing shades, but also a new cutscene called ''The Great Koopa's Warning''. It is about "The Great Koopa" getting told about Bowser's recent fascination for a relic called "The Dark Armour", and thus he tries to warn him about it's power. Bowser scoffs him off, and Great Koopa exchanges that he, Mario, and Princess Peach are there to balance the goods and evils, but mass genocide on a race of aliens is going to far. The ending mentions the name of The Great Koopa's son, Kain. This cutscene takes place weeks before the events of Krack The Hack. By getting every single moon in the game, you unlock ''100 Years Ago...'' This reveals the events of what happened 100 Years before Krack The Hack featuring two mysterious characters: Zack Toadstool, and Grievous Koopa. Zack mentions how much he fears the Rixzos being traitors to the Mushroom Kingdom, and Grievous suggests he kills his own mother to frame them. Zack isn't so sure about the plan, but Grievous reassures that it is to bring balance to nature's unnatural threats, and that he will be rich. The cutscene ends with a sampled voice line that reads what is said on screen: "My sons and daughters won't forget this very day..."
Krack Koo "Von" Kaizo
The staring character of the game with a British accent, originally a Zaicron Rixzo. His abilities don't change much from other SMW ROM Hacks besides some aesthetic changes (Mushrooms to Orange Shells, 1-ups to... the text "1-UP", and no Fire or Cape in sight). He usually either tells his enemies to "drown in the River Twygz!" or he calls them "Bent Roadkill Spoons". As a Rixzo, he leads the Rixzo army after another Rixzo name "Xander".
Daizo Dee Von
The "self insert" brother of Krack who is rescued at the end of the game. Considered the "Omega" of the Rixzo army, and is not looked up to by his peers. He knows how to fight, but will punch first and ask questions later. He is treated as his own character, separate from the author himself. He is the first to be kidnapped by Bowser himself.
King Bowser Koopa the Second
The same Bowser Mario deals with in a daily basis, his main goal is to take out the plumbers once and for all. To do this, he has a dream of an unknown ancient relic called the "Dark Armour", telling of a master plan for Bowser to use the Rixzo energy to charge up a third galactic attack. Throughout the whole game he commands his men with Mac and Zac to hunt Krack down for dead. He almost succeeds in his plan until Krack inadvertently ruining his goal, and thus having to let his own castle blow up to smithereens. Nobody, not even his own soldiers know why Bowser is a shadow of his former self.
Mac and Zac
Based off of the same characters from Nintendrawer's "Super Mario Bros" series of comics, Mac and Zac are Bowser's third in command, filling in the role of Kamek whom is on vacation. Krack can encounter the two in various places, but mainly in King Bowser's Keep. They function as regular hammer bros from SMB3 except with two different shades of green. In the optional fights, they bring in another ally to help them take down Krack.
This robot character makes appearances in most of Daizo Dee Von's recent projects, and appears in the second postgame level Juxtapositionarian. His role is minor, but also significant as he seems to recognize Krack and fears he will tell Daizo about his existence. He basically acts like a "space" version of Kamek, being based on Kamek from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. This is the character's third appearance in a ROM Hack (others including The Mario Game, Law & Order: Mushroom Kingdom Unit Demo, and ALPHA SPHERE).
The first ever piece of development history that was remotely related to Krack The Hack was an upload by Daizo showing off ASM of a "Yoshi Coin Exit" levelasm where collecting 4 dragon coins acts like using a key and keyhole. Two years later, Krack The Hack was shown off in Daizo's Mushroom Kingdom: Expanded Universe thread, now restructured as "Mushroom Kingdom: Beyond The Worlds Franchise" with the second and third opening post being wiped in favor of holding all information in Post #1. It was to be released in 2017 before Daizo decided to work on the game longer and have Mellonpizza be on board for coding a lot of the unique touches the game brings (and working on a few of the levels). The delay was worth it, as in 2019 it became the "2nd Best Finished SMW Hack" in SMWC's Winter C3 2019.
During 2019, many fixes and patches were made to not only improve the game's aesthetics, but also to add in new or missing features. For instance, Krack The Hack couldn't actually be 100%'d until v1.1.2. came out due to a few achievements not working as intended. Some updates also include changing how some achievements worked to make them less specific such as Koopa See, Koopa Do and End One. The status bar even changed between versions for unknown reasons. When Doctor No approached Daizo and Mellon about a possible race, he asked for a simple mod of v1.3.0. to include infinite lives, and thus v1.3.0.R. was created and implemented later in v1.4.0. alongside sampled audio for cutscenes. The latest patch (v1.4.1.) to date fixes wrong warps and status bar bugs. The readme included with Krack The Hack goes into more detail with every change.
- Revealed during Romhack Races, the Achievements system was originally going to be scrapped until Mellonpizza reminded Daizo about it. Thus, Mellon coded it in as the game's hit feature.
- Almost the entirety of Krack The Hack's soundtrack is sampled (the exceptions being the victory, death, and game over themes).
- For the tracks Daizo used that were originally unsampled, he added samples to them just to have them fit with the other tracks.
- This is the 2nd time Daizo Dee Von has composed tracks for his projects. This includes the title screen theme, the victory/death/game over themes, the ??? level, and the first three tracks from the postgame final level. The last one actually reuses tracks Daizo composed for different purposes.
- Two tracks have changed between versions. Cave-mine Corridors changed from using "3x3 Eyes - 999" to "Donkey Kong Country - Cave Dweller Concert", and the Konamina theme changed from "Donkey Kong Country 3 - Northern Kremisphere" to "Shiki Eiyuu Den - City of Kanyou".
- Two things had to be scrapped to release the project. One being a void type area that would act as the second half of House of the Hollow, and a boss fight with Jinker Bolts after reaching the 4th key. Both would've used compositions created by Daizo Dee Von.
- Every level in the main game uses alliteration for the names of levels except for Yoshi's Cabin and The Secret Palace.
- You can actually use a shell to press the switch during the Bowser segment of King Bowser's Keep.
- The creators during the Romhack Race has revealed that the portraits seen in the above mentioned level aren't actually portraits of Bowser.
- One Easter Egg, thought to be hidden forever by Daizo and Mellonpizza, was found by TheOrangeToad as he shared an image on Daizo Dee Von's personal Discord server. It is an easter egg that is hidden within' an easter egg, both found in Bowser's Basement if you jump to the right of where it's moon was. To reveal the text, you must wait approximately two minutes for it to slowly type in "WILL WE MEET AGAIN ?" You cannot view this easter egg again in your current save file if the text appears, making it a "per save file" one time only secret.
Romhack Races Event
Krack The Hack was featured as a mystery hack for Romhack Races, which showed off a special version of Krack The Hack referred to as "1.3.0.R" that enabled unlimited lives as opposed to starting the game with 25 lives. This was later added publicly as part of Speedrun Mode for v1.4.0. The winner of the race was Seathorne74 with 34 minutes and 16 seconds. More information can be found here under "Hacks and Mystery Races". You can watch the whole race here!
The hack was very well praised with all it's unique features, and also with it's attention to detail like how the orange shell powerup stays in place and flips over if you hit a block on it's side. Almost every level is short, with a number of them coming up with a unique twist to the design of the levels including environment transitioning, styles of gameplay, to using a lot of mechanics found in SMW, and even changing the aesthetic style of the game for select levels. Even if it's just for looks, the biggest draw to the hack is the character Krack himself, and what it's like playing as a Koopa Troopa. The highlight of everyone's playthrough is when they reach the levels Cave-mine Corridors, King Bowser's Keep, and/or YUMPalovania.
The most divisive thing the hack brings is it's plot... more specifically, the long intro. The game's intro takes up 5 sublevels of many screens to attempt to tell a story that isn't immediately clear. On the one hand, it is a nice way to bring context to what Krack's goal is for the rest of the game, and for the unclear parts it brings a sense of mystery for players that pay attention. However, many streamers and let's players didn't appreciate how long the game took to start even with the skip button (which most of them miss and forget how to skip cutscenes later in the game). The intro only gets interesting for them once the questionnaire pops up. Most returning players/speedrunners also dread a singular stage: YUMPalovania. The level is based of the ROM hack YUMP by JUMP Team, and it was added in as the first special world stage of the game as a joke. The stage is basically an edit of Front Door from Super Mario World, but every numbered "room" is split far across and act as transitions to the added obstacles between, each with mechanics that are complete jank. The biggest saving grace is the multiple checkpoints, but that's quickly negated when the player realizes the achievement "one run runs in yump games" exists. At the very least, most people get a kick out of the level the first time they play it for the reference to YUMP alone, and the authors keep it in for that reason.
That being said, people also saw Krack The Hack as the big return to story driven ROM Hacks similar to Super Mario World: The Second Reality Project and The Devious Four Chronicles, and both Daizo Dee Von and Mellonpizza are happy they've achieved that.